Sunday, 24 March 2013

Handmade cards - the Slummy Mummy way

Back in 2006 I made a great New Years resolution - to hand make all cards for a year, and for that whole year I loved spending hours gluing, painting, cutting, colouring cards for my friends and family, but when 2007 arrived I admitted defeat. My card making much like my DIY and baking wasn't very good. A+ for effort but C- for content.
 
I love the look of handmade cards, and love receiving them, but often handmade cards in shops cost the price of a family roast dinner at a gastro pub.  I usually resort to shop bought generic cards [which I usually personalise with a black marker pen!] So imagine my delight when I discovered a lovely lady who makes delighful homemade cards that don't cost the earth.
 
Emma contacted me via Twitter and on this site asking if I'd be interested in reviewing her cards, and I agreed as I was intrigued to see the quality of someone else's homemade efforts. When they arrived I was shocked [in a good way] The cards looked amazing! I was sent x 2 new baby cards, one for a girl and one for a boy.
 
 
Both cards and colourful and vibrant with fresh designs. I especially like the boys one with the buttons attached to the front. The cards are of excellent quality and look very professional. A+ for effort and A+ for content too!
 
Having looked through Emma's other cards and items, I'm really impressed by the variety, and will most definately be recommeding it to other. See - www.facebook.com/emmaclaire30 or www.folksy.com/shops/emmaclaire30
 
 
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of  Approval = GRANTED

 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Sleep training - Mummy's guilt

Baby J has always been pretty good at bedtime, since he was tiny he had sleepy cuddles then got put down in his cot when he was drowsy and slept. When I went back to work, I craved his sleepy cuddles and after his evening bottle shared sleepy cuddles and allowed him to drift off in my arms; for me blissful, it gave me the time with baby that I missed during the day, & I loved it. Recently I've noticed that it's been taking baby longer to drift off to sleep in my arms, and if he wasn't properly asleep when we put him down in his cot, he'd scream and point at me to pick him back up. It was time for me to admit that I needed to put Baby J into a better sleep time routine, otherwise it was going to get harder and harder for both of us.

I already knew what I was going to have to do, and the thought of letting baby cry it out terrified me. The odd occasion where we'd attempted it I'd given in quickly and gone running into his bedroom after hearing him scream to scoop him up in my arms, and apologise over and over.........vowing to never to try it again.

So Saturday night after a good day I built up the courage to do it, and after his bottle, took him up for a story and placed him in his cot. I rubbed his tummy and told him mummy and daddy loved him, gave him a kiss and walked away, the tears started and the pointing at mummy. I remained calm and kept walking out the door. Hearing him sob on the monitor made me feel so bad, but I kept busy in the kitchen and before I realised it, the sobs had stopped. I went and peeped in on him expecting to see him standing in his cot ready to start pointing and crying, but he was asleep.

I dreaded Sunday night, thinking I was going to have a night of sobs, but I followed the same routine, this time I heard him roll over ready to stand in his cot, but kept on walking. The sobs started, I kept on going, before I reached the bottom of the stairs his cries had stopped. Again I peeped in 10 minutes later and he was laid on his tummy, I flipped him over and he stayed sleeping.

I was also dreading tonight, and with him being super hyper at bedtime thought I was in for a battle, but no I stuck to the routine and only had a few tears as I walked away. I heard him playing with his toys but he soon drifted off and when I peeped in on him he was sound asleep.

I feel terribly guilty that it was my fault that he'd got used to sleeping in my arms, and although I miss it like mad I'm making the most of awake cuddles instead.

I'm hoping that the rest of the week go well, and by Saturday he's happy to settle himself - fingers crossed.

Brushing with Jackson - app review

How do you get your baby or child to brush their teeth with the minimum of fuss for 2-3 minutes every day? I suggest the simple and fun way and use the app Brush with Jackson!
Brush with Jackson is a fun friendly app, where Jackson Rabbit brushes his teeth alongside you in his bathroom. He's an interactive Rabbit who likes to copy what you say, he can also be poked and prodded and creates amusement by playing his toothbrush as a musical instrument. Baby J thought he was hilarious and giggled loudly when Jackson said what mummy said in a funny voice. He also like poking him all over to get a reaction; but the best reaction was at toothbrushing time when Mummy and Baby J all brushed their teeth with Jackson whilst bopping round the bathroom. The only downside was trying to get the toothbrush back off him afterwards! I also showed Jackson to my nephews who both thought he was fun, and kept checking back with him to make sure he was still cleaning his teeth like them. I've also used the app whilst out in the car to keep Baby J occupied. Big thumbs up from me! See http://www.rosiesplaytime.com/ for more info.

Slummy Mummy Seal of approval = GRANTED

Blazer Bear - the perfect keep sake

When Baby J  started to out grow his baby gro's I didn't have the heart to throw them away, they held such precious memories. But what do you do with them? Its the same for any memorable item of clothing, blazer from school, sports top, when am item of clothing holds such dear memories it can be difficult to throw the item away, and storing it away can seem like a waste. Well now you can have the item displayed in the most perfect keep sake - introducing Blazer Bear.

On the left is Babygro bear which has been created from 2 babygros and 2 baby vests, and on the right is the traditional Blazer bear, created from a school blazer, with the school kilt on the paws and summer skirt on the ears and wrists, he even has the school acheivment badges sewn to his back, and pin badges on the front.

 

The bears are stunning, they are sturdy and well made and look so adorable. I think they are pefect keepsakes and would make  a wonderful gift. Although they are not toys I showed Baby J Blazer Bear [which was only just smaller than him] and he smiled and reached for him with curiosity.

I love the concept of the bears, and how they turn a simple item of clothing into these cheeky lovable bears which can be displayed for years to come for all to see and for memories to be created and shared.

Whislt reasearching the bears I came across this YouTube Clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4unAzxajGqE
I love how it shows the story of the creation of the bears, I got so transfixed that I was half expecting the bear to winl at me at the end!

Thank you Blazer Bear's for creating such lovely keepsakes, we love them!
To find out more about Blazer Bear please see http://www.blazerbear.co.uk/

Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval - GRANTED

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mess Around - The fun way to have messy play


When Mummy N & I decided to do a joint party for Baby J & Baby L, we wanted to do something different, something fun and something memorable (for us, if not babies!). Having come across Mess Around via twitter we thought we’d give them a go.

Mess Around offers great entertainment for children of all ages to enjoy… and the adults too. At our party they set up 6 different zones –

1-      The sand pit with tools to dig, and buckets to create

2-      The water zone – tubs of water with pipes and toys

3-      Penguin Ice World – ice with goo and penguins [sadly not real]

4-      Foam zone –  with scrapers and spoons

5-      Coloured spaghetti – with pots and spoons

6-      Paint zone – a large mural for all to contribute towards
 

All those who came to our party loved it, as did we. After a brief explanation of what was on offer, and reassuring us that everything was safe for our babies [because as we all know it’s bound to end up in their mouths] by the Mess Around team, or Mess Around super heroes as I like to think of them, we were let loose on the mess! We all got stuck in! Everyone had been pre-warned about Mess Around being at our party and to dress babies in clothes that could get messed up [and to bring spare clothes] Mess Around also provided coveralls for anyone who had forgot or were concerned. So we all just swarmed towards it all.

Baby J and I head for Penguin World first, which was  icebergs [blocks of blue ice ] with goo, and model penguins. I think the cute models of penguins appealed to him, and his face was pure confusion when we reached out for the icebergs and felt how cold they were. He loved ‘wooshing’ them round in the goo, and splatting the penguins in it. Baby S also loved it and soon claimed all the penguins as hers – I have no idea how Mummy S managed to wrestle them off her at the end.

We next moved on to the foam zone, which was mound of glittery foam with tools for babies to play with it. The foam smelt  delightfully of coconut, how do I know this? Baby J decided that he’d load up one of the tools, and while mummy was chatting plonk it all on her J He loved squishing the foam through his hands and rubbing it everywhere, and I didn’t mind being covered at all!  Baby H was a little hesitant at first but soon got stuck in and was squealing with excitement.
 

Next stop was the water zone, where I was joined by Mummy E with Baby N, and Mummy Sa with Baby PP, they all got stuck in and were soon splashing themselves and each other. The toys were passed around and lots of waves created. Baby N loved it so much he climbed in, now some mums would of worried at this point but Mummy E said “He’s having so much fun he wanted to get close up to the action!” Luckily  she’d bought a spare outfit with her. The water tubs were at the perfect height so babies could reach in, splash around and grab the toys! Fab fun!!
 

The coloured spaghetti was next – Baby J was tentative at first and squished it in his hands, then after Uncle G plonked some on mummy, his confidence grew and he was soon picking it up and stretching it about. Baby J’s cousins joined him in the spaghetti and the three of them had great fun. Spaghetti got put on their heads they loved it! Picking up the bowls and moving it around, stretching it between them - amazingly none went in their mouths. Baby J did fling a lot of it around at the others which he got giggly about.

 

Daddy then took over in the sand pit  “Building sand castles is a man’s job” and squashing them down was Baby J’s. Daddy and Baby J had boy time building castles and raking it all up, then attacking the castles with spades. Lots of smiles and laughter all round. I noticed that the sand pit became a bit of a man zone with the few other daddies convening here.
 

I took this baby free moment to watch the paint zone as Baby R dabbed on some red paint to the mural. Seeing her expressions change as she saw what she’d done was priceless. Mummy P was on hand to encourage her and soon she was splashing it on like a pro. Other’s joined in and created an amazing masterpiece – WELL DONE!
 

I also notice Baby G bombing the boats in the water, Baby N having a tug of war match with the spaghetti,  Baby S  crawling through the sand giggling as she went, Baby So spreading the goo about in Penguin World [which was now minus its Penguins…] then holding up his hands to examine what was on them. Baby Ja in the foam zone spreading it about and splatting it down. Everyone was having such fun laughter was ringing out!

You are most probably thinking  ‘oh my goodness imagine all the mess, my place would get ruined’ fear not! Mess Around’s super heroes [Anna and Alix in our case] covered the floor with tarpaulin and all the zones were contained. I was amazed by how well it was kept together and didn’t spread.  They also set a washing zone where hands could be washed.

The Mess Around super heroes were also on hand to help with the activities and when needed , they circulated round encouraging babies to get stuck in, they were gentle with their approach, not pushy, which with something new like messy play was perfect.  When parents were unsure what to do they offered advice, and demonstrated how it was done.

Towards the end of the session the Mess Around super heroes circulated with a canvas and some paint and each of the guests left their handprints on a canvas for the birthday boys which was a lovely keepsake of the party. Everyone commented on how much they enjoyed the Mess Around Party, some mummies commented how inspiring it was seeing the babies enjoy the messy play,  that they would relax a bit more and let them have some fun at home too.

Mummy N and I were thrilled with party, it had the impact we wanted with a far better participation rate than what we expected.  We loved it as did the babies and as did the mummies and daddies who took part. When everything was cleared away there was no sign of any mess at all. Big thumbs up!

Thank you so much Mess Around for helping me give Baby J the best first birthday party a baby could have. I have some truly special photos of him having loads of fun. I would highly recommend Mess Around to anyone, not just for parties but for groups, nurseries, events, and special occasions. The Mess Around super heroes Alix and Anna were amazing, truly inspiring professionals. Before the party their communication made me feel reassured that they had everything covered, and they did.
 

So don’t delay book your Mess  Around session today and enjoy the messy fun. See the website below for information -

Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval granted!

Friday, 8 March 2013

When supermarkets run out of our essentials

There is nothing more frustrating than after planning for an epic shopping trip to the biggest Tesco around, that you get there & find half the stuff you want they don't have, & your one super essential must have today item is all out of stock!! I was so very tempted to abandon my trolley & storm out but I hadn't the energy to trek across the county to another supermarket so on I went & upon arriving home sent hubby out to get it!